Better than Lampard? How does West Ham star man compare to World Cup rival?

Mark Noble

Mark Noble of West Ham says he wants to make the World Cup squad. How does he compare to the player he make have to usurp to make it on the plane to Brazil?

Never capped by England at senior level, Mark Noble is a player who feels he deserves his chance to show what he can do.

He told the Evening Standard: "To be picked for my country is my ultimate goal, as it should be with any English player.

"The subject has come up a few times before and people have said when an international squad is about to be announced, 'you've definitely got a chance', but it hasn't happened.

"All I can do, though, is go out there every week and in training and try my hardest.

"Roy Hodgson hasn't spoken to me, but I will carry on enjoying what I do, working hard for the team and all being well one day I will get my chance."

A former England under-21 captain, Noble has waited patiently for his chance while others such as Tom Cleverley are fast-tracked, by virtue of playing for reigning champions Manchester United. 

Alternatively, the man Noble would have to replace is Chelsea veteran Frank Lampard, who has been in and out of the side all season at Stamford Bridge, yet is still a favourite of Roy Hodgson.

We took a look at the statistics to see just how they compare...

NameTeamPosGoals / appsGoal Assist / appsAppsMins
Frank Lampard Chelsea MF 0.19 0.19 21 1,396
Mark Noble West Ham MF 0.07 0.07 27 2,353

Straight off the bat, it's clear Lampard's output in terms of goals and assists is superior to Noble - but does the West Ham man have any other areas to argue?

NameTeamPosTotal Att Assist / appsAtt Assist Openplay / appsShots on target %AppsMins
Mark Noble West Ham MF 1.63 0.93 23.53 27 2,353
Frank Lampard Chelsea MF 1.29 0.52 40.00 21 1,396

Despite Lampard's better record with regards to assists, perhaps he can blame his forwards. Noble actually creates more goalscoring opportunities per game than the Chelsea man, from both set pieces and open play - where his creativity almost doubles.

NameTeamAccurate Passing %Touches / appsAccurate Pass / appsSuccessful Final Third Passes / appsAppsMins
Mark Noble West Ham 82.77 66.89 42.52 12.48 27 2,353
Frank Lampard Chelsea 82.39 54.43 34.52 7.90 21 1,396

Noble can boast of a marginally superior passing completion rate than Lampard, also getting on the ball a lot more, while making a higher number of accurate passes per game. These aren't just backwards or sideways passes in the comfort of a deep lying midfield role either - Noble makes more successful passes per game in the final third than the Chelsea man.

NameTeamPosWon Tackle / appsInterception Won / appsBall Recovery / appsAppsMins
Mark Noble West Ham MF 1.93 2.07 8.11 27 2,353
Frank Lampard Chelsea MF 1.38 0.67 4.00 21 1,396

Defensively Noble really comes into his own. As well as wining more tackles per game than Lampard, he makes more than twice as many interceptions per game and recovers more loose balls to win back possession for his team.

Lampard will always point to his goal record as a reason for his inclusion, but previous tournaments have shown him unable to convert this onto the international stage.

With Mark Noble 26 and coming into his best years of his career, Hodgson would be seriously amiss to not give the West Ham man a chance ahead of the World Cup to prove his worth.

image: © wonker

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